Maa Pa (Takirua O Boromir 24/12/03 - 10/02/17)
As I sit writing this the loss of this beautiful old dog is still very raw. However with that said, I would like to celebrate this old boy’s life and share his accomplishments with people who appreciate what it means to have owned, been loved by and loved a bull terrier. Maa epitomised for us what a bull terrier should be – he could be a clown (frequently), playful, stubborn, courageous and loving. He was stoical and so tolerant of little humans and puppies – Maa Pa was everyone’s favourite uncle/ bro/ son. He was the son of Whetu (Boromir Black Violet) and Enzo (Quest Captain Boromir De Harlequin - IMP-NWY). He entered our lives 5 minutes past 12 on Christmas Day 2003 the only white pup in a litter of eight but that wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye – he had an amazing egg head and the most laid back personality. Nothing seemed to faze him – he was the “puppy culture puppy” before it became a thing to aspire to be.
To the delight of his human brothers he loved the sea and became an adept body surfer who loved nothing more than going down to the Domain at Matata and chilling with the boys. He also was my first real show dog and easily got his Champion Certificate just after he turned a year old. He didn’t really like the show ring or shows I think because they took up his “beach time” – he would jump into the car quite happily and was good until we drove past the beach and then he would tip his head up and nose to the air would howl – non-stop for a minimum of 20 minutes. I would turn him out for shows with specialist bull terrier judges and he would do his winning thing and his last show at 11 years he won Veteran in show – not bad for an old dog.
Maa has had many an adventure in his long life. He was as Rich said a “pointer- fishing” dog – he would sit watching the rod and the fishing line and the moment it jiggled he would stand one front paw up and tail straight out behind pointing out that a fish was on the line. Rich said the trick was beating him to the fish when he reeled it in - hence the fishing hook saga when he swallowed and passed two large fish hooks – almost. The second one lodged where the sun don’t shine which meant a trip to the vets to remove it. He also participated in an engagement – christening the large piece of driftwood before it was used as the proposal seat and was mentioned in the wedding speeches. As he approached the start of his 12th year he finally had “grown up” and carried the mantle of kaumatua (elder) of his large human and bull terrier family with a large degree of grace and a modicum of "grumpiness".
His last years he was totally blind and yet still managed to negotiate his way around unless some silly member of the whanau moved the furniture. Outside he was usually accompanied by either Kihi or Drey who would steer him away from places like the yukka trees or the woodpile or the rose bushes. I think if truth be told, he was ready to go before we were ready to let him – how do you say goodbye to someone who has been an integral part of your life for 13 years? In the end he forced our hands – yet his passing was peaceful and well deserved. At last at rest.
I know that at the end of the bridge that Whetu, Bless, Kava and Dace would have been waiting for him. Kia kaha kia manawanui – Maa Pa you are sorely missed, I still set out four bowls at meal time, look for you every time I come home from school, step over you in the kitchen (though I must admit Ngawai is trying really hard to fill your shoes in that respect) … you have taken a piece of this whanau with you.